Saturday, December 9, 2023

Hirscher’s former coach to lead Austrian giant slalom team

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The Austrian ski federation has turned to the former coach of record eight-time overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher to get its giant slalom team back on track next season.

Michael Pircher was appointed on Monday as the new head coach of the men’s GS team, which failed to get a podium result last season.

Also, Hirscher’s father, Ferdinand, has been added to the team as an adviser.

Marcel Hirscher

“The starting situation is not the best but at the end of the season we would like to have two athletes in the top 15 and have a compact GS team,” said Pircher, who worked full-time with Hirscher from 2012 until the skier’s retirement in mid-2019.

Hirscher, the 2018 Olympic champion, got 31 of his 67 World Cup race wins in giant slalom and he topped the discipline season standings six times.

However, no other Austrian skier has won a giant slalom since February 2011 when Philipp Schoerghofer triumphed in Hinterstoder.

In his new role, Pircher will be supported by fitness trainer Guenther Steiner and physiotherapist Josef Percht-Jurlov.

The new alpine skiing World Cup season is set to start with a GS in Soelden on Oct. 25.

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